Wow, I'm flattered...! Glad you're part of the group by the way...
I was a little concerned by Phil J's remarks about GB - Phil's very generous
with compliments - maybe too generous! But in hyping GB so much I don't
think he meant to infer that other systems are any less remarkable - after
all, he's probably the most experienced of all of us regarding packages and
he uses them all with a passion. I suspect it had more to do with the fact
that Phil's a big confidante of mine, and he knows I've been through a few
personal hassles recently, so was trying to cheer me up. I think he'd be
horrified if he thought anybody had taken his remarks as meaning GB is
literally the leader in the field - I certainly don't think that - I don't
believe there is such a package - as I previously said, every package out
there has unique features. And every user has a unique way of using them.
For a 'genre' of music the diversity of material being produced is
incredible. I often play with ArtSong myself, for example... but I've not
used it in a proper
Previous remarks about live instrumentation... I agree and disagree. It's
horses for courses, I think. For example: I regard Jarre's "Oxygene" as a
classic. But listen to The Shadows' guitar-based cover version of it and
you'd be mortified. Likewise, I can't imagine anybody purely using
synthesisers to convincingly cover something by Clapton or Satriani. So
there are cases where never the twain shall meet, and rightly so. (How
awful would Vangelis' vast and synthetic opening theme to "Blade Runner" be
if a guitar solo were added to it?). But then again, there are times when
synths aren't enough. When a guitar isn't enough. When put together, it's
a matter of finding a balance.
That's the reason I didn't continue with X-Foundation - the gig went well,
and I was honoured to be on stage with some exceptionally talented
professional musicians. But I didn't feel the balance was right. Neville
Malcolm, for example, is an utterly superb double-bass player, wonderful
stuff which added a lot to the material. But also, on occasion I felt that
the material was out of balance a little, particularly when you consider
fractals are particularly great for basslines themselves. I think there's a
danger in regarding synthesisers as purely "accompaniment", yet artists like
Jarre and Oldfield have proved that that needn't be the case. To my mind
the ideal would be a perfect balance between synthesisers and acoustics -
where the keyboard parts are as prominent as the other instruments and not
just used as a little embellishment. I can think of very few artists who
have really achieved that - it's a difficult task.
As for me, I'd be happy to go on producing purely synthetic stuff. The
first OC CD was deliberately done so, on a bare minimum of equipment,
because I wanted to make the point of what you can do these days with very
little paraphenalia. I had the option of using some very top-range
orchestral modules when producing "A Season in Hell", for example, but chose
to use mainly just a SoundCanvas because I preferred the sounds being
slightly synthetic and false. Producing it so it sounded like a real
symphony would have missed the point that it ISN'T an orchestral piece.
However, through a chance meeting on the Net I now have an opportunity to
work with Anita - she works mainly in soul and jazz here, but is very
radical in her thinking, and she sees this project as an opportunity to
really explore her own range. So I'm very excited about it because I feel
she and I both will end up with an album that is a result of a really unique
contrast of styles - and something neither of us would have done had we not
met. One thing's for sure, it won't be a typical female vocal plus backing
Anyway... I'd better go... stuff to do.
Hugs to all...
Phil T :-)